Education Reform Advisory Council convenes
Members of the South Dakota Education Reform Advisory Council met for two days in Pierre last month. Click here for a short video summary by Secretary of Education Melody Schopp.

New teacher training model being developed
A new model for teacher training at South Dakotaís public universities would involve a full year of residency in a school setting. The model recently was recommended to the South Dakota Board of Regents. Click here for more information.

2012-13 federal funds intact
The U.S. Department of Education recently issued a letter clarifying the impact of the Budget Control Actís sequestration of funds for key federal education programs. Click here to learn more.

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Secretary's Column
By Dr. Melody Schopp
Department of Education

Benefits of longitudinal data system exciting

For years we have talked about creating a longitudinal data system for South Dakota. To see that vision becoming a reality with the new SD-STARS (Student Teacher Accountability Reporting System) is extremely exciting.

The purpose of SD-STARS is three-fold: to aid, measure and inform. Through SD-STARS, educators will have the ability to access and use high quality data to aid in informing their instruction. Through SD-STARS, student outcomes will be measured so educators can identify at-risk students, examine achievement gaps, evaluate programs, and so forth. Finally, the data within the system will be used to inform decisions related to systemic change.

Earlier this week, you should have received a newsletter about SD-STARS. An electronic version also is posted at

I would encourage you to look through this first issue if you have not already done so. I was particularly interested to learn about things other states have done with their LDS systems.

Once SD-STARS is up and running, I am confident that you will be as excited as I am about how educators can use the system to the benefit of our students.